Arthur Charles Fox-Davies.

Armorial families : a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour (Volume 1) online

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but the custom which has regulated their usage is much more emphatic and pronounced than
in the case of liveries, and the observance of which at the same time is more widely recognised
and exacted.

The cockade originated in the " brooch," if I may so term it, or fastening of the old three-
cornered hats, and its use upon the hats of servants is a survival of the right to the services of a
soldier servant. It is the last remnant of his military uniform. The black cockade of the present
time is generally known as the " black cockade of Hanover," and its usage upon the hats of
liveried servants dates from about the time of the Hanoverian succession. One hears about the
white cockade of the Stuarts, but I am inchned to think it originated in contradistinction to the
black cockade of Hanover, and I fancy has a greater existence in poetry and romantic chivalry
than it ever had in actual life. It is doubtful if it had anything beyond an actual mihtary
existence, and that using the term " cockade " to mean a favour, and not the exact article to
which we now refer.

The cockade is purely a fighting badge, so that it is essentially ridiculous for civilians or
ladies to pretend to it. There are two shapes at present in general usage ; the most usual is
the one surmounted with a fan-shaped ornament. This is the military cockade. The oval shape,
without the fan, is the naval one. The right to the military cockade is universally conceded to
all officers holding commissions in the Army, Militia, or Volunteers ; and, by virtue of their
military capacity, to Lord-Lieutenants and Deputy-Lieutenants ; and for the same reason, to
High Sheriffs during their year of office. The right to the naval one is conceded to officers
holding commissions in the Navy or Ro^'al Naval Reserve. It is a moot point whether ex-officers,
when no longer holding their commissions, are still entitled to make use of it. In my opinion,
it should be conceded, at any rate, to those who receive permission to continue to wear their
uniform ; but I cannot substantiate my opinion by an}'' authority, or settle the matter one way
or the other.

The Royal cockade is circular, and larger and rather different in the form of its construction.
This shape, in a smaller size, is adopted by many of the royal household for their private purposes,
and I cannot help thinking that the usage of this shape by such persons, and the usage of cockades

Cbe ^hu0z of £lrm0 xxix

by ambassadors, are simply a matter of privileged concession to the holder of the office for the
The foreign cockades are of different colours. Cussans enumerates —

time being

The German
The Austrian
The Portuguese ,
The Belgian
The Spanish
The Netherlands

Black and white.
Black and yellow.
White and blue.
Black, yellow, and red.

And I have seen others.

From the fact that the use of the cockade is conceded to Deputy-Lieutenants — and the list of
Deputy-Lieutenants includes the great majority of those in a prominent social position — it
seems to be considered by a large number of people that the placing of the cockade upon the
hats of servants is nothing more than an indication of such social position on the part of their
employers, and consequently the pretenders to this rank, with common consent, infringe the
privilege. It is difficult to see what steps can be taken to check the abuse. But now that the
dynasty has changed, and many matters are being brought anew under consideration, it would
be most beneficial if an official notice by the Lord Chamberlain were inserted in the Gazette,
definitely conve}dng the wishes of the Sovereign, if an expression of them could be obtained, as
to what classes were entitled to the privilege. It really seems very probable that the cockade
has now lapsed into meaningless ornament.

The accepted raison d'etre of the black cockade of Hanover no longer exists. If the colour
of the cockade were to be altered, and at the time of the official signification thereof, the
opportunity were taken of definitely stating to whom the new cockade would appertain, attention
would be forcibly drawn to the matter, and public opinion, having definite knowledge to go upon,
would effectually prevent any extensive abuse of the privilege.

And now we come to the question as to what can be done to prevent these abuses of the
right and pri\nlege of bearing Arms, with which I have dealt in the foregoing pages. It is almost
hopeless to advocate or expect any further convictions and fines under the old laws, which
pro\aded such heavy penalties for the wrongful usage of Arms ; but still, overlooking these
penalties, and without any alteration of the law, there is a great deal that might be done.

First and foremost, if the Inland Revenue authorities were more eager and efficient in the
discharge of their duties, and in the enforcement and collection of the annual licenses imposed by
the law, it would make a marvellous difference. And if the payment of the required license were
more rigorously enforced, the average tradesman's wife might think again before answering a
newspaper advertisement and placing herself in a tradesman's hands for a guinea box of
stationery, and perhaps a prudent husband might enforce a Httle reflection.

And the wording upon the licenses issued by the Inland Revenue authorities requires
considerable alteration. At present it reads —



32 and 33 Vict. Cap. 14.

of in the Parish of within the Administrative County of

is hereby Authorised to wear and use Armorial Bearings (but not to have the same painted, marked or affixed on or to
any Carriage) from the day of the date hereof until the 31st day of December next following : the sum of One Pound
One Shilling having been paid for this licence.

Granted at ' this day of by



32 and 33 Vict. Cap. 14.

■ of in the Parish of within the Administrative County of

is hereby Authorised to wear and use Armorial Bearings, and to have the same painted, marked, or affixed on or to any
Carriage from the day of the date hereof until the 31st day of December next following : he having paid the sum of Two
Founds Two Shillings for the licence.

Granted at this day of by

The italics are mine, and this wording, to put it mildly, is ultra vires. I am not the first to
point out that as it stands now it is a direct infringement of the personal prerogative of the
Sovereign. It needs no Act of Parliam.ent to alter it. With all possible deference to the

XXX Cfte 3t)U0e of 3rm0

authorities at Somerset House, I would suggest the following wording as more legal and less
open to abuse : —

having paid the sum of one guinea, is hereby
admitted to have fulfilled the requirements of the Inland Revenue Department, but such payment
not to be held to have confirmed or conferred any right to the usage of Arms not sanctioned by
the duly accredited Officers of Arms."

The Act of Parliament creating the requirement of these licenses reads as follows : —
" 32 & 33 Vict. : Customs and Inland Revenue Duties : Ch. 14, sec. 18. On and after the
first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy, there shall be granted, charged,
levied and paid, for the use of her Majesty, her heirs and successors in and throughout Great
Britain, under and subject to the provisions and regulations in this Act contained, the following
duties, that is to say : . . . For Armorial Bearings : —

If such Armorial Bearings shall be painted, marked or affixed on or to

any carriage ;^2 2 o

If such Armorial Bearings shall not be so painted, marked, or affixed,

but shall be otherwise worn or used . , . . . .110

Ch. 14, sec. 19 (i). It shall not be necessary for any member of the Royal Family to make
any declaration or to take out any licence under this Act, nor shall it be necessary for the sheriff
of any county, or mayor or other officer in any corporation or royal burgh serving an annual
office therein, to take out a licence for any servants, carriages, or horses employed or kept by
him for the purposes of his office during his year of service, nor for any person who shall by right
of office wear or use any of the Arms or Insignia of any member of the Royal Family, or of any
corporation or royal burgh, to take out a licence in respect of the use of such Arms or Insignia.

Ch. 14, sec. 19 (13). ' Armorial Bearings ' means and includes any Armorial Bearing, Crest,
or Ensign, by whatever name the same shall be called, and whether such Armorial Bearing,
Crest, or Ensign shall be registered in the College of Arms or not.

Ch. 14, sec. 19 (14). Any person who shall keep any carriage, whether owned or hired by
him, shall be deemed to wear and use any Armorial Bearings painted or marked thereon or affixed

Ch. 14, sec. 19 (15). It shall not be necessary for a hcence to be taken out by any person
dul)^ licensed by proper authority to keep or use any public stage or hackney-carriage for any
Armorial Bearings painted or marked on such stage or hackney-carriage."

There is some difference between the foregoing and the notice appearing upon the back of
the return, by which you are invited by the means above mentioned to contribute to the Inland
Revenue. It is as follows ; —



The term ' Armorial Bearings ' means and includes any Armorial Bearing, Crest, or Ensign,
by whatever name the same shall be called, and whether such Armorial Bearing, Crest, or Ensign
shall be registered in the College of Arms or not.

Any person who keeps a carriage, whether owned or hired by him, is deemed to wear and
use any Armorial Bearings painted or marked thereon or affixed thereto.

A licence to use Armorial Bearings on carriages includes the use of such insignia in any other

Note. — If any person holding a licence at the lower rate of duty shall become liable to the
higher rate by reason of using a carriage with Armorial Bearings thereon, a proper licence must be
taken out within 21 days. The duty on the former licence will then be repaid by the Collector of
Inland Revenue.


The proprietors of public stage carriages or of hackney-carriages hcensed by local authority,
in respect of any Armorial Bearings marked thereon, or on the harness used therewith.

The Commissioners of Inland Revenue do not require licenses to he taken out in the

following cases : —

1. By any shopkeeper in respect of the use of Armorial Bearings or devices, solely as trade-
marks, and in the course of trade.

2. By any municipal or other corporation, or any public company, in respect of the use of

Clje 3bii0e of arms xxxi

their corporate Armorial Bearings, or by any person using the Armorial Bearings of such a
corporation or company by right of office.

3. By any officer or member of a club, or society, using at the club, or on the business of the
society, any Armorial Bearings for the use of which such club or society have taken out a licence.

Persons Exempt From Return and Duty.

1. Members of the Royal Family.

2. The Sheriff of any county, or the Mayor or other officer in any corporation or royal
borough, serving an annual office therein, in respect of any servants or carriages kept by him for
the purposes of his office during his year of service.

3. Persons wearing by right of office any of the Arms or Insignia of members of the Royal
Family, or of any corporation or royal borough, in respect of the use of such Arms or Insignia."

The difference is no doubt somewhat explained by the enclosed reply I received to certain

inquiries upon the matter : —

1642 E " Inland Revenue,

1894 " Somerset House, London, W.C,

" gtk March, 1894.
" Sir, — In reply to your letter dated the 22nd ultimo, I am instructed by the Board of Inland Revenue to acquaint
you that (i) section ig of the Act 32 and 33 V'^ict. c. 14 provides that it shall not be necessary for a Corporation wearing
or using .Anns or Insignia to take out a licence. (2) The above exemption for a Corporation is construed by the Board
as meaning that a licence need not be taken out by any pubhc company for any corporate Armorial Bearings. (3) A
Ucence is not (according to a concession allowed by the Board) required by a shopkeeper for Armorial Bearings used in
connection with matters relating merely to his trade, as on bill-heads, trade labels, &c., or on his shop front ; and this
regulation applies to the use of the Royal .Arms, so far as the Revenue is concerned. But (4) the Board cannot state
whether or not in any particular case objection arises under the Patent, Designs, and Trade-Marks Act of 1883 to the
use of the Roval Arms. This point would be determined by the Board of Trade.

" The Act relating to licences for Armorial Bearings is the 32 and 33 Vict. c. 14. — I am, Sir, your obedient Servant

(Signed) " Wm. Rossetti,

" Asst. Secretary."

Corporations, public companies and tradesmen are every bit as capable of bearing taxation
as those of more patrician birth ; and, moreover, it appears to me that the Inland Revenue
authorities might just as well make up their minds not to collect the tax on wine or cigars when
imported by a tradesman or pubhc company. If the tax were rigidly enforced in all the cases
that the Act sanctions, the revenue from this source would be more than doubled, and tradesmen
would be far less prone to prostitute the dignity of Arms to the catchpenny artifices of business.
As matters stand, they have a direct suggestion and inducement for doing so. And it would
need no Act of ParUament to construct a regulation in the Trade-Mark Registration Department
that no coronet whatsoever, and no design which can be classed as heraldic, should in future be
accepted for registration. It is easy to say what is " heraldic " in design : or the regulation might
run that no design should be placed upon an escutcheon, lozenge, wreath, or chapeau, or in con-
junction with any coronet, and that no design should consist of any object — commonly classed
as heraldic — or any such disposition of objects, upon a circle, parallelogram, or oval, that one
could be led to suppose the design might be considered to be a coat-of-arms. It would not need
an Act of Parliament to introduce a poHce regulation that no vehicle should be licensed as a pubhc
hackney-carriage until anything " heraldic " painted upon it or affixed thereto were defaced or
obhterated. It would only need a resolution of the Common Council for it to become a sine qua
-non that no Armorial Bearings, personal or impersoAal, should be placed upon any casket or
other presentation article ordered by the Corporation, or upon any official invitation card or other
official publication, until such Arms had been sanctioned by the College of Arms.

And a great deal might be done by Town Clerks and Mayors. It is a positive disgrace that
some towns are using Arms which are of no authority. It would be very little trouble for each
To\\Ti Clerk or Mayor of the towns which are illegally using Arms to call the attention of the
Corporation to the fact. I feel certain that in many towns, matters have only to be placed
before the Corporations in the proper light, for immediate steps to be taken to rectify the present
illegal state of affairs. If after having all the facts before them the Corporations are too
parsimonious to move in the matter, it should certainly be made known, in order that the effort
might subsequently be made by private individuals (as it has already been done in a good many
cases) to rectify the apathy of the official bod3^ For surely in these large towns who are still
defaulters there are enough public-spirited people interested in Heraldry to subscribe in small
sums the necessary fees, even if there be no local magnate wilUng to make the town a present of
its Arms. It would be no bad speculation for the local paper in each place to head the subscription
list, for it would be amply repaid for its trouble by the advertisement and by the cash which
would accrue from the sale of photographs of the Patent or accurate copies of the official Arms.
County Councils in the same manner.

xxxii Cf)e HtJU0e of ^tmief

One of the most important checks is in the hands of clergymen, and is this. No brass plate
or mural tablet or tombstone may be erected in a church or churchyard without the consent
of the clergyman thereof for the time being, nor can any hatchment be hung up upon the walls
of the church. I am afraid the day of hatchments has come to a sorry end, but still with these
where they may be used, and with all intra or extra mural monuments, the clergyman can
discourage the use of any but legal Arms. He would be wise to require the mourners to spend
an extra half-guinea to provide a certificate from the College or Office of Arms concerned, that the
Arms proposed to be erected were legally displayed and properly marshalled.

Architects can, and some do, do a great deal — particularly with regard to impersonal Arms — by
discouraging their display unless the coat-of-arms be beyond reproach ; and, where they have
reason to doubt the accuracy or validity of personal Insignia, by taking care to avoid affording
opportunities for the display of such.

I doubt the feasibility or the advantage of a return to compulsory " Visitations," but with
all possible agreement I join my advocacy to that of others who recommend the renewal of the
Visitations in a voluntary form. Many people, on the score of indifference, will not take the
trouble to record their pedigrees, but might respond to an invitation to do so if special facilities
were offered. The world is growing strangely casual and indifferent of late on matters of honour.

The House of Peers has been stated by an able writer to be as representative a body as the
House of Commons, the difference being that the composition of the one is permanent as rep-
resentative of a permanent class, and the other varying as representative of a body varying in
its constitution and wishes. Consequently there is everything in favour of the continuance of
the hitherto practised methods of the selection and creation of Peers.

But there is much to be put forward in favour of the consideration whether services to the
Sovereign or the community, which may happen to be only of a comparatively minor character,
cannot adequately and acceptably be rewarded in more frequent cases by grants of Patents of
Arms, or by grants of Augmentations. Such a revival of ancient practices would greatly add to
the dignity of arms, and in each case can readily be made into a direct memento of whatever
action it is desired to commemorate. And further, it would provide also for cases where services
worthy of recognition have been rendered, where the means do not exist to satisfactorily main-
tain the dignity of knighthood, or of an hereditary title.

It is much to be regretted that it is not considered a necessity for each person, as he attains
his majority, to ascertain and record what Arms, quarterings, and difference mark he should
display. And upon his marriage, it ought to be considered as much a matter of course as
consulting a lawyer as to his marriage settlement, that he should consult an Officer of Arms as to
what difference his marriage makes in his achievement.

But even if the head of every family would take the trouble to investigate the right of his
original ancestors to the Arms they claimed, and would then prove and register his own right to
these Arms, and place upon record what he knows, a great step would be taken towards the
correct end. A certain responsibility attaches to the headship of a house, or even of a branch
of one. It is a rotten argument that because posterity have done nothing for you, you are caUed
upon to do nothing for them. As it has been truh" said : " Many things are lost to us which
were known to our grandfathers, and our grandchildren will search in vain for things which to us
are most familiar."

And there is much to be done in the literary field. Learned treatises are still multiplying in
number, which will even yet continue to discuss the ancient controversy as to whether a lion
passant guardant must not of necessity be a leopard, which even yet take poor Sir Isaac Heard to
task for the coat he designed for Lord Nelson. It is certainly very interesting, but the scientific
side might well have been left until the legal was " understanded of the multitude." But a
series of articles was published, " The Right to Bear Arms," by " X." These articles have
dealt more exhaustively with the legal side of the question than I have done herein, and they
have now been republished in an extended form under the above title. I would also refer to my
own two books, " Heraldry Explained " and " A Complete Guide to Heraldry."

Mr. Walter Rye did a great service to genealogists and antiquarians of all degrees — a service
which I hardly fanc}^ is yet thoroughly realised — when he wrote and published his book, " Records
and Record Searching." In it he says : — " No catalogue or index has ever been published of the
contents of the College, nor have the Officers of Arms ever considered themselves called upon to
issue, as they most certainly ought to do, a list of those persons who are and those persons who
are not entitled to Armorial Bearings. Many of the earlier Visitations have been copied more or
less accurately — rather less than more — and are to be found in the British Museum and other
libraries." I mention it last because I consider that " Armorial Families " is the most crying

Cl)e ^tJiise of ^rnijo; xxxui

want that Heraldry knows. The College of Arms has not published such a book, and apparently
has left the effort to be made by private enterprise. Had no heraldic book ever been published,
had no list of Arms ever found its way into print, had no unauthorised " Peerage " ever been
compiled, then it would have been well for the science of Armory. If the attempt to supersede
their jurisdiction had been suppressed ages ago, when the College had and exercised sufficient
power and authority to have done so, they would have remained what they are not — (not only
the sole authority upon matters of Arms), but — and here they would have had the power — the sole
source of heraldic information. But it is idle to talk of lost opportunities, the situation of the
moment remains. And it is this — every reference library has a copy of Burke's " General Armory,"
from which the whole wide world helps itself to a crest or a coat-of-arms. Every day the news-
papers and the penny post convey advertisements of those who pretend to find, for three-and-
sixpence or less, Arms for those who don't know how to help themselves. Everybody who
proclaims liimself to be anybody must apparently sport a coat-of-arms. So that the need has
undoubtedly arisen for some book which shall advertise, that all who run may read, which coats-
of-arms are lawfully and legally borne ; that shall discriminate between the sheep and the goats ;
that shall sepai-ate legitimate Armigeri from bogus pretenders. This is the book I am endeavour-
ing to create.

The details of the Armorial Bearings in the present work have had my personal attention,
and I bcheve them to be correct. For the other details I have been at the mercy of those who
have supplied them and the sources from which they have been taken. And, unlike' the details
of the Arms, the other facts and matters have been largely dealt with by my assistants, and I
am not inclined to personally vouch for them to the same extent that I hold myself responsible
as to the Arms, but I have no reason to consider that my book is less accurate than other pubUc-
ations of a similar character. It may not be in some details so extensive, but I beheve that the
information I do give is correct. But as by now most people must have received from six to
eight proofs of their entries at different times, the mistakes remaining must be few in number.
But I do not claim that my book is at present anything like complete. But it is the first and only
attempt to draw a plain, unvarnished, and legible distinction between those Arms for which the
authority has been legally and duly estabUshed and those for which it has not. It is the first
book of its character which has recognised fully that the laws of Arms differ widely in England,
Scotland, and Ireland. It is the only book that has gone to the root of the matter, and treated
of the abuse as well as of the use of Arms.

The difficulties under which my book has been compiled may perhaps in some measure be

Online LibraryArthur Charles Fox-DaviesArmorial families : a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 256)